If someone had told Jessie Knadler 10 years ago that she should move to the country and co-author a canning cookbook, she probably would have slowly backed away from this obviously insane person.
After all, she’d lived for years in New York City, working for magazines such as Glamour and Cosmopolitan and writing about subjects such as fashion and dating and the eight worst things a girl could say to her boyfriend.
But then she was assigned to cover a Montana rodeo, where she laid eyes on a bull-riding, cowboying VMI graduate named Jake Wilson.
When they decided to make a home together, they compromised on Rockbridge County because, as she put it on her blog, it was “the closest place where I could retain ties to East Coast civilization and he could wear a cowboy hat without being mistaken for one of the Village People.”
Acclimating to this new pace of life on 8 acres outside of Lexington has been agonizingly hard, Knadler said, and still is. The 38-year-old has coped by chronicling the culture shock on her sassy blog, rurallyscrewed.com, and by immersing herself in gardening and the local food movement.
The day she decided to learn how to can, she had picked 54 cucumbers from her garden and hauled them, in a wheelbarrow, up the hill to the house.
“I remember looking at this mountain of cucumbers and wondering, what am I going to do with all this?” she said. “I went on a pickle-making bender. I made about 10 different kinds of pickles. And it was really fun; it was like tapping into this side of myself I never had explored.”
Continue reading about Jessie’s new canning cookbook, “Tart and Sweet,” by clicking here.
For a recipe for Blueberry Lemongrass Syrup, click here.
For a recipe for Pickled Fiddleheads, click here.